Continuing on with our 9/22-10/8 trip to Maui and Kauai....
Saturday morning we sadly leave The Royal Kahana and Maui until next time. I got over my sadness quickly once my mind turned towards Kauai. Kauai is my favorite place on earth and I have spent years traveling. It just stopped me cold the first time I saw it. Each time I leave, part of me remains behind. Enough said here we go....
Arrived at Lihue after a really nice flight. Aloha Airlines will begin direct Maui to Kauai flights again soon. This stop over in Oahu just isn't cutting it with travelers. Keep in mind Kauai car renters, the Saturday return line was HUGE. Maybe, because it was during the late morning/afternoon time. Got our car, Toyota SUV complete with dings and scratches. But, parking spaces everywhere are tight sso I guess it is expected. Off to the north shore, amen! My husband drove so my sister and hub could take it all in. Just turning into Princeville and driving towards Hanalei Resort left them speechless. We hold a timeshare and had a beautiful unit looking out at Hanalei Bay, unobtructed. So many morning/sfternoon/ sunset photos taken. Just amazing. Dinner that night at Bali Hai Restaurant on site. We never have had a less than really good meal here and that night was no exception. The sun slowly went down and we just appreciated where we all were and how fortunate we are that we could do this together. Those chickens and roosters are just welcoming everyone to their paradise.
Sunday we had a nice breakfast with lots of fresh fruit. I made the mistake of finding Buns of Maui the previous week. Those buns could be doorstoppers. Why is all our food and plates getting larger? Off to Halalei! We walked all over, had lunch at the Hanalei Dolphin. Can't break that routine...too good to miss out on. We settled on light fare to save our appetities for Cafe Hanalei at Princeville. Off to Tunnels and the coastal beaches for a swim. We saw the red flags up and found out that 2 sharks were swimming around. So we sat on the beach watching the most interesting people. One guy was doing his yoga, another was carving women out of wood. (Didn't get too close to see the detail in his art work. ) A religious service of some sort with an interesting looking religious leader was in full swing and several guitar players were working on their music. God, I love this place! Back to the resort and some swimming at Princeville's beach. (saving our favorite Anini Beach for later). Dinner was wonderful at the Cafe Hanalei that evening. I had eaten there previously, but the food was really good and we ate out on the lanei. More photos of the Bay and Napali Coast. Spoke with a manager at length inside the lobby area. The hotel was sold to an investment firm along with the new Westin going up and the area surrounding. It will become the St. Regis next March when rennovation occurs. All restuarants will remain open and the lobby will be one of the first orders of business. New shops will line the left wall as you enter. All the infinity pools will remain. All of the staff will as well. They will be offering some amazing incentives to travelers who would like to stay during this time at some deep discounted prices. That's the story as of last week.
Monday, we experienced Tubing. This was as easy as I could find to initiate my family members inhto excercising. It actually was so much fun. Great for kids too! Nice lunch and a chilly swim at the water hole afterwards. Good stfaf attending to you. Very safe. Enjoyed my first shave ice downtown in Hanalei. The one up near Princeville (forgot the name..maybe Mike's) closed for vacation. It was so good. How easy and inexspensive to creat...total goldmine.
Dinner was at Zelo's. Now, I have been reading the comments for the past year, have to say it was pretty good. I had so much mahi mahi that I chose some sort of shrimp dish with vegetables. It was filling and fine. Just sat back out on the side lanei and watched the world go by.
Tuesday, off to Anini Beach for several hours and then back to Princeville to snorkel. First time for family members and they really enjoyed it. Lunch by the infinity pool and then back to the resort. Off to shop and explore the Kilauea Bakery. Decided to get up and get buns and bagels for the morning next day. So good! Dinner was at BarAcuda that evening. Very nicely done. Service was good and three of us enjoyed our meal. My sister didn't care for her fish couldn't get past the seasoning. But, I would recommend this new place for sure.
Wednesday, BIL goes for his golf game. He bailed out of the Prince Course and chose the Makai Course. He did really well and was happy with his choice. Couldn't get over several of the views! The remaining three of us went Zipping. Oh, how much I dreaded this. Heights are my downfall, but upon turning 60 this year, all stops are pulled out. It was fabulous. We did the "Quick Zip" which is just zipping. (no lunch, swim) My husband said no when he was informed that it was 31/2 hours). However, as adament as he was....no refund if cancelling in under 24 hours. So he had no choice. After the second zip...he was hooked. Loved it so much! I felt so free sailing across the land. You could hear me laughing and yahooing back to New Jersey. DO IT! Dinner was at Bubba's. Promise my BIL a burger and fries at Bubba's. Not a hamburger eater...but hey, why not. It was very good. What a place. People just seem happy being there!
Thursday, back over to the Napali Beaches for some snorkling. Just so beautiful and enjoyable. Pizza we picked up at the bakery earlier in the day and had it with drinks before dinner. Left Hanalei early for our Beach House experience. Noe, I will tell you that I booked 6 months in advance and called twice to reconfirm. This was an anniversary dinner for my sister and hub. The food was really good and the setting amazing. My sister and hub got a special dessert and an anniversry card signed by the entire staff. My only objection and disappointment was sitting at the best seat in the house (call early) and having constant traffic walking in front of you eating (windows opened). Some guy is posing people for his photo business. Just not what you needed if you wanted romantic settings. Anyway, stopped at the Blow Hole and took out photos before going to the restaurant. Lovely night.
Friday, back to Anini after visiting the bakery for fresh bread etc. Sister and Hub went on the Jack Carter helo tour. Loved it. However, we were stuck in traffic for hours due to a head on down in Kapa'a. We turned a round and went to visit the Lighthouse and tried again later to get to Jack Carter's. I will say that I was very impressed with the behavior of the visitors who sat for hours. As the firemen drove back up past up (and the police officers), they stopped and fill prople in on time when they could reopen road. Many of them received applause and thank yous for the rough day they had experienced. Guess the aloha rubs off on us after all. After the chopher ride we visited the Grand Hyatt and were amazed. What a place. Still would not give up the north shore for anything. Dinner was a treat Friday night. Maybe, some of you might be interested. We ate at Sabella's in the Princeville area near the hotel. Needed a quick fix for my Italian husband. I called ahead and the chef answered. Asked hi if he could just make some ziti with red suace (gravey) for my husband. Nothing on the menu interested him. He won't eat lasagna, manicotti out. He said he could do it. When we arrived and ordered, a large diiiiisih of ziti with ricotta arrived. We had it for appetizer and took the rest home. It was so good we had it before checking out on Saturday. Really enjoyed the food there. Even went back and shook the chef's hand.
Saturday, it's time to pack up and say goodby. One last trip into Hanalei to pick up some things. We left early and had lunch at the Grand Hyatt and broused around one of the small historic towns. Had a Lappert ice cream cone. However, I agree with several of our posters...Roslaini ice cream is wonderful! Flight out of Kauai at 7:30 on to Oahu and then to Newark Liberty. This time I wasn't as sad as I usually am. Why? ....because I know I will be back before long! That's it for me. Aloha!